Fun to drive, cheap to own, and worth paying for the top of the line model
The transmission required rebuilding after 94,000 miles and 6 years of use. The normal maintenance was simple and not problematic. Today the car looks and runs like new. It has a lot of power and is fun to drive. The brakes have been replaced including both front rotors, a fairly common occurrence on most cars today. I installed a new Sony X-plode sound system including a new in dash CD and ten disc changer mounted in the trunk. I had to replace a broken transmission mount last week, probably the result of driving on New York City's crummy roads.
When it came time to buy this car I looked at the Honda Civic, the Toyota Corolla, or this Mercury Mystique LS. The looks were superior, the performance was 'off-the scale' better, and the larger interior, trunk with pass through, and color (burgundy) made this a very smart choice. I am still driving that new car after 100K miles. The addition of five spoke alloy wheels improved the appearance and I increased the tire width to 205 from 195, so the car even looks better than new. Driving the car is just fun. I always used 100% synthetic oil and transmission fluid, and kept a maintenance log. Like any car if you take the time and money to keep it tuned, and replace normal wear items like plug wires and air filters it proves to be very reliable. The transmission was the only disappointment in an otherwise dependable owner experience.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th May, 2006